Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit says he is hoping that William Saliba can improve his record of scoring from set-pieces.
While he is a big admirer of the centre-half’s game, Petit says his fellow countryman could take some inspiration from the likes of Chelsea legend John Terry and Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand:
“With his physical dimension, he could bring more to set piece, like John Terry or Rio Ferdinand did. Passing out the back, he’s progressed a lot and he shouldn’t hesitate to take risks to go up a level, especially in the style of game in place at Arsenal.”
Petit did emphasise, however, that the 22-year-old is already “one of the best” centre-backs in England, which is a massive compliment from the ex-Gunner.
Saliba is definitely capable of scoring more goals
As Petit points out, Saliba has the aerial presence to be a big threat from corners. He is 6ft 4 with a broad frame so he possesses the characteristics required.
Last season, he did hit the back of the net 3 times, and the first of those was a spectacular long-range effort against Bournemouth, so there is scope for him to be an even greater menace for opposition defences, be it from set-pieces or open play.
The defender is indispensable for Arsenal
Considering it is just over a year since manager Mikel Arteta handed him his first league start, Saliba’s progress over that period has been remarkable.
The Frenchman quickly adapted the the demands of the Premier League, and he is now one of the first names on the team sheet.
With the Gunners having secured Saliba to a long-term contract in July as well, fans can look forward to seeing the defender play in Arsenal’s colours for many more years to come.